HomeNewsHumanitarian CrisisIsrael allows opening of Ashdod port and Erez crossing for aid

Israel allows opening of Ashdod port and Erez crossing for aid


Jerusalem, 8 April 2024 (TDI): Israel released an announcement that maintained that it would increase the delivery of aid into Gaza, opening the Ashdod port and Erez crossing into the enclave’s north, also increasing aid deliveries from Jordan.

This development took place after a warning from US President Joe Biden. In a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Joe Biden demanded “specific, concrete” steps to lower the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, maintaining that conditions could be put in place on US aid if Israel did not respond.

Increasing pressure on Israel has come after seven aid workers at World Central Kitchen were killed in an Israeli airstrike, leading to a worldwide outrage on the delivery of aid in the war-ridden enclaves.

In addition to this, Israel’s security cabinet also concurred with increasing Jordanian aid through the Kerem Shalom crossing point.

Ashdod port and Erez crossing

The Ashdod port and Erez crossing lies 32 KM north of Gaza, and is one of Israel’s three main cargo ports being able to handle over 1.5 million containers a year, whereas the Erez crossing lies between Israel and northern Gaza, which is also the closest to Ashdod, respectively.

The United States welcomed the latest development. It reported that the opening of Ashdod port and Erez crossing for delivery of aid into Gaza and northern Gaza, respectively, including boosting deliveries from Jordan into Gaza, must be completely and quickly implemented.

White House National Security Council Adrienne Watson, reported “As the president said today on the call, US policy concerning Gaza will be determined by our assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these and other steps, including steps to protect innocent civilians and the safety of aid workers.”

Also Read: Pakistan welcomes UNSC resolution for Gaza ceasefire

Famine on the brink

The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which is the main UN aid agency in Gaza, welcomed the reopening of the crossings. However, it reported that Israel should be doing more.

Senior Hamas official Basem Naim has stated that opening the crossing was the least that Israel could do.

“That said, we are concerned that the Israeli announcement could be nothing but throwing ash in the eyes and that once implementation begins, Israel will begin to stall and invent pretexts to delay or suspend the process,” he reported.

The aid organization UNRWA reported that “The clock is ticking fast towards famine and UNRWA must be allowed to do its work and reach the north regularly with food and nutrition supplies.”

Israel has been slapped with increasing international pressure to do more to assist civilians in Gaza, which is the region where people have been forced to leave their homes and depend on aid to live.

Delivery of aid

The US, Jordan, Egypt, the Netherlands, France, and Belgium are the pool of countries that have dropped aid into Gaza. However, the aid groups say that the technique is a last resort, which is unable to make ends meet.

Moreover, last month, the first vessel to reach Gaza arrived from Cyprus, which is the nearest European country to Gaza. This vessel was carrying 200 tons of food from the World Central Kitchen.

Furthermore, in January, the World Food Program (WFP) maintained that it had been able to get only four convoys into Gaza, which is about 35 truckloads of food, which is also sufficient for 130,000 people.

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